World Bulletin/News Desk
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying salaries to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, an Arab diplomat said on Saturday.
"The payment has been going on for months and the agreement was made on April 2 by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistical organisation from Turkey where some Free Syrian Army factions are based," said the source, who requested anonymity.
"The point of this is to encourage as many factions of the Syrian army to defect and to organize the FSA, control it and prevent any extremist organizations from joining it."
A spokesman for Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said on Saturday he was not aware of reports that the kingdom was funding Syrian rebels.
The United Nations says more than 10,000 people have been killed since violence broke out after Syrian government forces began a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters over a year ago.
Syria says at least 2,600 members of its military and security forces have been killed by what it calls foreign-backed "Islamist terrorists".
Western and Arab states, meeting on April 1, called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, withdraw his troops from Syrian cities and allow access for humanitarian aid.
They made no mention of arming the FSA but said they would "continue to work on additional appropriate measures with a view to the protection of the Syrian people".
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government was supplying "communications equipment that will help activists organize, evade attacks by the regime and connect to the outside world" and was "discussing with other nations how best to expand this support".
The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey,' Syrian president says
UAE special operations forces would help train and advise as well as arm anti-ISIL forces in Syria and local partners in Iraq
'The project of a temporary truce to halt hostilities will be examined with the rebel factions on the ground,' a leading member of the High Negotiations Committee says
Kuwait will sign a deal next week to buy Eurofighter jets, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA said on Thursday, citing the defence minister.
UN aid chief tells Saudi envoy that relief organizations were 'delivering life-saving assistance as per internationally recognized principles and will continue to do so'
Syrian Center for Policy Research data dwarfs last UN casualty figures
Peace talks had collapsed however a plan is now under way to resolve the war in Syria
The first ever formal meeting is scheduled to be held in March
Arbitration law experts say monetary compensation to Turkey could be passed on to Turkish customers in lower gas bills
'The letter P doesn't exist in Arabic, so the borrowed term Palestine is worth debating' remarks draws mockery of Israeli lawmaker Anat Berko
Delegates from India and Oman have met to strengthen military ties
Iran holds annual celebrations commemorating its 1979 revolution for the first time since nuclear deal was finalized and sanctions lifted
Russia has proposed for a March 1 ceasefire talk as the Assad regime pounds the besieged city
Head of the Labour-led Zionist Union coalition said he still wants a two-state solution, bu does not believe it's achievable in present circumstances
A monitor reports on devastating deadly impact of Assad regime's offensive in the northern province
Russia's ambassador to Damascus shares his estimates on the number of Russian citizens living in Syria